WWII Internment

Ichihashi had planned to pursue an academic career in Japan. But his mentor, David Starr Jordan, and others at Stanford encouraged him to return and teach subjects related to Japanese studies. Jordan was keenly interested in developing ties between Stanford and Asia and he believed Ichihashi could help develop the relationship. Jordan had high regard for the young academic: He once wrote a Japanese industrialist that Ichihashi was “one of the best students with whom I have ever come in contact.”

Ichihashi’s first blue-book diary, Santa Anita 
I.D. tagIchihashi’s first blue-book diary, Santa Anita I.D. tag

Ichihashi assumed a post at Stanford reluctantly, however. He was not trained as an Asianist and, equally important, was sensitive about the anti-Japanese sentiment in the country. But he decided to give Stanford a try and began teaching in 1913.

One of the important influences on Ichihashi’s decision to stay was Payson Treat, Stanford’s first Ph.D. in history. Treat was one of the first American specialists in Asian studies. He and Ichihashi developed a close friendship and helped make Stanford a principal center of teaching and research in Asian studies.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Ichihashi regularly wrote and spoke on Japanese history and diplomacy. In 1928 he published The Washington Conference and After, a history of the 1922 naval armaments conference. Ichihashi had attended the meeting as the personal aide to the chief Japanese delegate. David Starr Jordan presented a copy of Ichihashi’s book to the Emperor during one of his frequent trips to Japan.

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NOV/DEC 1996

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